Employee Development Is Worth the Climb  

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We all know the story of Jack and the beanstalk, but how does it relate to success in your company?  

Jack was a risk-taker and saw an opportunity in every circumstance. He knew that his reward of treasure meant outsmarting giants and endless climbs. He put in the work, used his head, and won. We need leadership to start doing the same, and we need to begin to understand that our path to riches doesn’t just grow overnight.      

“Developing your talent and building a Cohesion Culture™ takes more than magic beans.” – Dr. Troy

One way companies can improve individual contribution and performance is through training aimed to develop people who function effectively in cohesive teams. Since a large percentage of newly-hired people are seeking advancement and development opportunities within their organization, this is a great place to start. Leaders who create and sustain a Cohesion Culture™ support the elements of belonging, value, and commitment. They retain talent through proven principles of learning and relating.

Cohesion Cultures™ support a sense of affiliation and allow employees to feel valued in what they do. It sets up employees for optimal success in team performance through leadership’s commitment to individual success first, then organizational goals. 

Unfortunately, leaders who are solely focused on their personal success make the mistake of thinking that skill and technique training are the magic beans that solve the employee’s desire to commit to organizational outcomes and advance.

Magic Beans Only Work In Fairytales

The leaders’ mindset should be deeply rooted in a philosophical approach that employee development is more about how they behave as a person and less about how effectively they can use software or move paper. When the leader provides opportunities that meet the individual’s intrinsic needs, the more cohesive these individuals act toward attaining success for themselves and meeting desired organizational outcomes. 

The leader must think about this customized employee development plan based on a clear understanding that there is a difference between skills and techniques to manage a project or program, along with the knowledge needed to effectively lead teams of people. 

We lead people and manage projects, not the other way around. Talent development doesn’t grow on beanstalks. We have to put in the work.  

Employees seeking professional development require more than just skill and technique. They will also want to improve their leadership and acumen. This includes relying on what effective leaders have demonstrated: relationship-building behaviors they have observed, imitated, and modeled.   

Four Systematic Process Steps for an Effective Employee Development Plan

A successful training and development program should contain a systematic process that helps shift effort away from criticism and focuses the attention on actions designed to enhance team effectiveness. This on-going cycle has four steps: 

  1. Analyzing
  2. Developing 
  3. Conducting 
  4. Evaluating

It is essential for the training to be specific to the development needs of the individual. 

It is unfortunate when leaders skip the rigor involved in assessing and providing one-on-one coaching (development). These overly anxious leaders go right for the conducting step because they are more committed to achieving an organizational goal and not the development of the person. They believe their employee needs some technical information or re-directing without employing all four aspects required to develop a thorough and effective plan. They see the gold before the iron.

Everyone Wants a Golden Goose; No One Wants the Climb 

Leaders who direct efforts to find a program that covers some loosely defined tactical topic or issue, usually end up blaming the corporate training team for the lack of employee growth and development. They failed to gain their golden goose because they synthetically approached the development process without putting forth the genuine time and effort needed to ensure success.

It is critical for leaders within a Cohesion Culture™ to personalize the employee development plan and invest time and effort into the individual’s progress. Then and only then will the employee be set up to be their best self. Leaders must nurture employees as if they were seeds, so when the stalk develops, it resembles a sturdy tree and not just a tall weed. This is how organizations find their golden goose; they develop employees into cohesive team members who support belonging, value, and commitment for the betterment of everyone. 

How are you building a cohesive team in your organization? Please share your wisdom below! 

To learn more about the leadership values that can positively impact your team and create a Cohesion Culture™️, connect with Dr. Troy here.


Dr. Troy Hall is the Chief Strategy Officer for South Carolina Federal Credit Union, a $1.8B financial cooperative with over 165,000 members. With a Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Troy has earned the designation as an International Development Educator. As the author of Cohesion Culture: Proven Principles to Retain Your Top Talent, his book showcases how and why South Carolina Federal Credit Union has been named a “Best Places To Work” by Glassdoor, the Credit Union Industry, and State of South Carolina.

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